Ghana Youth Climate Coalition in collaboration with Ghana Youth Environmental Movements on Thursday 21st March, 2013, launched the price for pollution campaign in Ghana.The Objective of this massive campaign is to advocate to the industries and everyone who pollute heavily to pay for polluting the environment. A price could be in the form of tax or levy prescribed and imposed by a government’s authority. The argument was that if it is morally wrong to pollute the environment and/or wreck this planet, then it’s equally immoral to benefit from that pollution and wreckage without paying for it.
We know the groups that pollute – individual citizens, companies, industries, institutions, etc. We all pollute in this country and as such may feel guilty and defensive. However, as much as it is very fair to say that everyone pollute in this country, it is equally fair to also say that not everyone who pollute benefit from that pollution and use their riches and power to block progress towards clean and renewable energy. So our campaign was naming the villains – plastics, mining and oil companies – to avoid any misinterpretation of the basic principles that birthed it.
In addition, we believe that activating this topic of paying for pollution automatically activates the broader perspective of the issue at hand – liquid waste from industries, hospitals and faeces been dumped into the sea without treatment, illegal mining (galamsey), the massive air pollution by the burning of e-waste and the importation of these e-waste to flood this country.
Price for pollution was also meant to provide green jobs to the youth. Every time a country decides to go green, that decision results in the creation of more jobs. There are 1,000s and millions of green jobs that exist in only recycling. In Columbia, plastics are being used to make chandeliers and in our own Ghana empty water bottles to build a couch. The fact is that government knows going green is good but their excuse to cover up the lack of political will have been the fact that there is no budget for that. And so we are saying that charge a price for pollution and use that money to set up the recycle plants in communities.